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EQUINOX GOES LIVE IN FRENCH WEST AFRICA.

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Neptune, today, announced that "Société InterAfricaine de Banque"(SIAB), in the Republic of Togo has gone live with Equinox Core Retail as of May 10th, 2004. The localized French version of Equinox is the first French installation of Equinox and represents Neptune’s entry into a promising new market. Neptune plan to use this as a springboard into a market which has seen very limited competition in the past.

According to Mr. Ray Nwosu, the Regional Sales Manager of Neptune,"Adapting a system to a new language and an entirely different banking environment with its own rules and regulations is usually a long, tedious and complex task, but we were able to achieve this in good time due to our systems’s flexibility. Neptune is extremely pleased with this achievement. In the first phase of the implementation, Equinox Core Retail was deployed in the Bank’s head office on Oracle 9i and will soon be extended to three branches of the bank followed by the Treasury and Trade Finance Modules. SIAB will benefit from Equinox’s highly efficient architecture and grow their business as a result of better customer service capabilities.

Khalifa Italua, the Managing Director of SIAB says, " I was very impressed the day Equinox went live. When I first chose Equinox, it was thought I was taking a risk by accepting to be the first in this region to implement the system. Now that Equinox is running, I am absolutely convinced that I made the right decision. It is a flexible, easily adaptable and functionally rich system."

Samboni-Lare Dansonnou, Head Teller, SIAB feels that, Equinox is "fantastic." and is looking forward to enjoying the benefits such as, "More efficient teller management that allows me to manage our tellers and their cash from my desktop. Now I can view teller activity with the click of a mouse. I can even grant them over limit posting from my computer without any stress."

Technical Challenges

The SIAB implementation posed several challenges for Neptune. The main challenge came from the stringent rules and specific requirements of the region’s central monetary governing body; BCEAO (Banque Centrale Des Etats De L'Afrique Ouest) based in Dakar, Senegal. BCEAO is the central bank for all the 8 countries in French West Africa. Surmounting the hurdle of BCEAO DEC reporting was not an easy task.

The fact that Equinox was able to adapt to the stringent requirements in such a short implementation period (under 6 months) is a testament to the products flexibility.

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